Browns: Maybe The Perception’s Wrong On Johnny Manziel


Dec 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel’s frat-boy reputation has kept the former Heisman Trophy winner in the headlines, but perhaps his public perception isn’t reality when it comes to quarterbacking the Cleveland Browns.

Johnny Manziel‘s not a leader. He can’t fire up his teammates. Who would trust him?

Turn on sports radio, and these questions will be asked repeatedly by different hosts, on different channels, at almost any time of the day.

It’s easy to pin Manziel as a guy more obsessed with being a social-media celebrity than a winning NFL quarterback, but perhaps that perception is miscast. Sure, most can agree Johnny goes out of his way to look like a poser on Instagram, but who are we to judge?

His problems with alcohol were, and still are a concern. The very-public fight with his girlfriend was a terrible look.

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But he’s not the NFLer to be a noodnick off the field, and he won’t be the last.

Everyone wants to  judgements about Manziel’s professional career based on what he does away from the team. All the while, local and national audiences don’t have a clue what’s going on at the Browns’ practice facility.

Mike Pettine had high praise for Manziel after the former 2014 first-round pick after earned his second-career win against the 49ers, via Fox Sports.

"“Here’s a guy that shows up to work every day excited…He puts in his preparation so he grinds in the meeting room. He asks great questions. He brings up good points. Guys respect that.”"

Grind? Manziel!?! I don’t understand. You can still be a hard-working professional and have fun with friends on Instagram!? Can we check with Mark Zuckerberg on this?  It just doesn’t add up because this narrative doesn’t fit bashing that come with Johnny’s career.

Even teammates, such as good guy Gary Barnidge, defended Manziel on Victory Monday.

"“I definitely think he is starting to see it,” Barnidge said. “I think it has shown in the way he is playing on the field, in practice and in the game. He is going to keep learning and keep maturing. We are going to be behind him no matter what, too.”"

On NBC’s Football Night in America, Rodney Harrison said he couldn’t play with Manziel because he couldn’t trust him.

In the video posted below, does it look like Johnny has trouble connecting with teammates? Does it look like his teammates have issues.

You didn’t have to play professional sports to know that if you got a problem with a teammate, you’re not going to show him any love on the field. But there was Manziel Sunday, firing up his teammates.

Sure Johnny’s flawed. We’d all love him to live his life as Peyton Manning off the field, but don’t rush to judgement.

Next: Jason La Canfora: Was Playing Manziel That Difficult?

He may surprise the fans, but any success that comes his way won’t be shock to his coaches or teammates.